Hollins is an independent, liberal arts university in Roanoke,
Virginia offering undergraduate education for women and selected
graduate programs for men and women. Founded in 1842 as Virginia’s
oldest chartered women’s college, Hollins provides abundant
opportunities to students for leadership development, research, and
study abroad, and provides access to real-world internships around
the globe largely supported by an extensive alumnae/i network,
which has been recognized by The Princeton Review as the fifth best
in the nation among private schools. The institution’s traditions
are the backbone of the Hollins experience and continue to help its
alumnae/i community stay connected to the university and one
The vice president for institutional advancement (VPIA) reports
to the president and leads the advancement team to realize its
vision of being a premier fundraising enterprise built upon
outstanding alumnae/i and donor engagement. The VPIA drives
fundraising and alumnae/i relations, supports the philanthropic
engagement of the trustees and university friends, and supports the
president’s fundraising activities.
The ideal VPIA will be a collaborative and proven leader who has
passion for women’s higher education and has the confidence and
experience to set priorities and assume responsibility for a broad
and complex set of initiatives related to the philanthropic
priorities and activities of the university. Early in their tenure,
the VPIA will actively develop a growing institutional advancement
team, formalize and enact a plan for the university’s next
comprehensive campaign, utilize data and quantitative metrics to
set and measure goals, build relationships with the active and
engaged alumnae/i network, and work to leverage the involvement of
university partners in fundraising. The full prospectus can be
Hollins strives for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice,
and the university has made great progress in many respects.
Hollins has made financial aid for students with demonstrated need
a priority with 99% of its students receiving some form of aid.
Among the incoming first-year cohort, 100% received some form of
financial aid, and 38% were Pell Grant-eligible.
Known for its creative and highly engaged student body, as well
as its commitment to inclusive academic excellence, Hollins prides
itself on its nationally recognized and award-winning undergraduate
and gender-inclusive graduate academic programs, its
extraordinarily beautiful campus surrounded by the Blue Ridge
Mountains, and its unique ability to ensure that each of its
students has the opportunity to design a transformational college
experience. The university’s active faculty provide an unparalleled
personal learning experience for its nearly 1,000 undergraduate and
graduate students. With a visionary new president at the helm, a
strong record of alumnae/i engagement and giving, and institutional
eagerness to implement new and transformative programs, Hollins
aims to position both its students and itself to thrive amid the
opportunities and challenges emerging from the ever-changing higher
Leadership, Governance, and Finances
Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., became the 13th president of Hollins
University in August 2020. A respected proponent of the liberal
arts in educational equity, President Hinton aims to lead Hollins
into the future by becoming a model of inclusivity in women’s
Hollins University is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised
of 26 people who are leaders in their respective fields and who
render extensive service to the university. Along with contributing
generous donations to Hollins, the trustees are actively engaged
and supportive of the university’s overarching mission.
Hollins enjoys a financial profile envied by many small liberal
arts colleges. The university has the fourth largest endowment
among private colleges in Virginia—standing at $219 million as of
June 30, 2021—and has operated without external debt since 2008.
Hollins’ graduates are especially generous in supporting their alma
mater. In 2010, Hollins completed the largest fundraising campaign
in the university’s history, raising $162 million. In 2017, Hollins
achieved its highest single year fundraising total, meeting a
six-month $10 million challenge for the university’s 175th
anniversary. In 2021, Hollins University received $75 million, the
largest gift to Hollins and the largest gift ever given to a
women’s college. Even though the financial foundation of Hollins is
solid, challenges persist as a tuition-driven institution. The
annual fund provides a significant part of the operating budget,
and the VPIA plays a central role in that fundraising
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Hollins strives for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice,
and the university has made great progress in some respects. The
university’s student body has become one of the most diverse in the
nation among liberal arts colleges: 34% of all domestic
undergraduate students self-identify as students of color, 25% are
first-generation college students, and 10% are international
students representing 22 countries. As noted above, Hollins has
made financial aid for students with demonstrated need a priority
with 99% of its students receiving some form of aid. Also as
referenced above, among the incoming first-year cohort, 100%
received some form of financial aid, and 38% were Pell
Campus and Facilities
The Hollins campus is, in a word, beautiful—475 acres nestled in
the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Front Quadrangle is
listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the Wyndham
Robertson Library has been designated a national Literary Landmark.
The new student apartment village, featuring apartment-style
housing, is comprised of seven new buildings enabling 68 students
to enjoy modern housing and independent living. In the last 15
years, over 50% of the buildings on campus have been renovated or
undergone major updates, including the Dana Science Building and
the establishment of the state-of-the-art Eleanor D. Wilson Museum
within the Wetherill Visual Arts Center.
With approximately 100,000 residents, Roanoke is a diverse city,
located just south of the Hollins campus. The city of Roanoke is a
part of the larger Roanoke Valley, which is home to 300,000
residents. The area offers a variety of cultural, educational, and
entertainment opportunities, including excellent schools, many
restaurants and breweries, the Taubman Museum of Art, the Harrison
Museum of African American Culture, the Science Museum of Western
Virginia, the Kids Square children’s museum, Mill Mountain Theatre,
and the Jefferson Center, which hosts performances by organizations
such as the Roanoke Ballet. Roanoke’s Berglund Center also hosts a
range of larger musical events and concerts. Roanoke is the medical
hub for the region and is home to two major hospitals, as well as
the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Fralin
Biomedical Research Institute.
Roanoke is especially well known for its outdoor recreational
resources. Home to numerous nature and hiking trails, Roanoke has
been named “Best Place to Raise an Outdoor Family.” Domestic travel
is also convenient from Hollins with the nearby Roanoke-Blacksburg
Regional Airport, which has nonstop service to cities including
Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Washington,
D.C. There is Amtrak train service as well for passengers to
Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington
Role and Impact of the Vice President for Institutional
As the chief philanthropic officer, the vice president of
institutional advancement will embody all that is Hollins. In
addition to exceptional fundraising and management skills, the VPIA
will nurture, support, engage, and celebrate the people and
traditions that define Hollins University. The VPIA provides
leadership for all advancement programs in support of the
university’s mission and goals; works collaboratively with the
president, Board of Trustees, donors at all levels, alumnae/i and
friends of the university; and develops both long-term and
short-term strategies and programs for engagement, cultivation,
solicitation, and stewardship of constituents in all matters
pertaining to the advancement and philanthropic support of the
Institutional advancement includes major giving and planned
giving, advancement services, donor relations and stewardship,
annual giving, alumnae/i relations, and corporate and foundation
The VPIA serves as an active and engaged member of the
Hollins University expects to engage in campaign planning in the
next 12 months. The VPIA will have a visible and strategic role in
the campaign and will serve as one of its leading
The VPIA’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the
- Lead and manage the institutional advancement staff.
- Oversee the planning, implementation, and measurement of all
programs and activities designed to enhance philanthropic support
of the university, e.g., by establishing office-wide goals and
metrics for all areas and by directing the strategic implementation
and assessment of fundraising and engagement strategies to achieve
- Engage and enhance the culture of philanthropy both on and off
campus by cultivating strong working relationships.
- Plan and support all fundraising and constituent activities of
the president, academic leaders, other departments, alumnae/i
volunteers, and faculty.
- Engage faculty in fundraising to support research and
- Build relationships with students as future donors.
- Work with the Board of Trustees and Committee on Development
chair and other leaders on the board to ensure coordination and
continued progress of all fundraising and constituent engagement
- Develop a segmented and comprehensive communication plan that
engages alumnae/i across generational divides and speaks to each
- Manage the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a
portfolio of leadership gift prospects through personal visits and
other forms of communication.
- Serve as a member of the president’s Cabinet and be responsible
for advising and working with colleagues and the president on the
full spectrum of institutional issues.
- In partnership with the executive vice president and chief
operating officer, set fundraising goals and priorities to support
strategic and operational needs of the institution.
- Establish and manage the budget for the institutional
- Represent the university at events, to volunteer groups, and in
the community with the goal of increasing the visibility of the
university’s fundraising priorities and needs.
- Ensure that all programs and activities of institutional
advancement office are consistent with diversity, equity, and
inclusion principles and with the university’s DEI policies and
In the first 12 to 18 months of service, the VPIA will work to
achieve the following objectives:
- Serve as chief philanthropic advisor to the president on
all issues related to institutional advancement, including
cultivation of donors and direction of the campaign.
- Build relationships and trust with all stakeholders,
including encouraging and strengthening engagement
and philanthropy with trustees and other significant
- Implement management and administrative infrastructure to
achieve IA goals, including a restructuring of the institutional
advancement office using best practices and recommendations
recently proposed by Campbell and Company.
- Introduce and implement a new data-driven system to set goals
and evaluate advancement initiatives.
- Implement a plan to increase, maintain, and enhance annual
giving outcomes alongside the Hollins Fund team.
- Develop institutional advancement staff and
volunteers toward the goal of achieving a successful
- Develop a comprehensive, customizable plan for
- Formalize the upcoming plan and begin the quiet phase of the
university’s next comprehensive campaign.
To be successful, the VPIA must bring the following experience
- At least seven years of progression in responsibilities and
leadership in institutional advancement (or equivalent).
- Demonstrated experience as a successful fundraiser and
relationship-builder in a complex and dynamic environment, ideally
in higher education.
- The capability to successfully serve as an architect, champion,
and leader of the university’s comprehensive campaign.
- The ability to identify and advance the president’s fundraising
- A collaborative and inspiring approach that is supported by
data-centered rigor and a strong emphasis on accountability.
- Experience working with a chief financial officer to set
- Entrepreneurial and innovative thinking.
- Leadership presence that is effective with diverse
constituencies including trustees, Cabinet members, alumnae/i, and
- Demonstrated listening, change management, and
- Proven ability to successfully achieve both short- and
- The ability to travel at least 30% of work schedule and at
times with the president and advancement team members.
- Master’s degree or equivalent or equivalent combination of
education and experience. Doctoral degree or equivalent and more
than ten years of experience preferred.
Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter clearly
outlining their experience with institutional advancement, and a
statement about their commitment to diversity, equity, and
inclusion as a leadership imperative and in the work of fundraising
Screening of candidates will begin immediately, and preference will
be given to applications received by Feb. 15, 2022. Semi-final
candidates will be asked to submit contact information for five
references. The selected candidate must have a valid United States
driver’s license with minimal violations and will be subject to
credit, criminal history, and motor vehicle background checks.
Additionally, the incumbent must live or relocate within the
Roanoke, Virginia regional area.
Hollins is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly
committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity at every level of
the university. Persons of all genders; persons with disabilities;
persons of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; and
first-generation college graduates are encouraged to apply.